Contributors are: Paul D. Fitzgerald, Bruce Millstein, Chad Runnels, and Gary Campanella
JR. GREMLIN FLAG
La Canada Gladiators v. El Monte Jets
(Teams do not keep Score)
The La Canada Gladiators’ Jr. Gremlin opened the 2015 football season on Saturday September 15 at La Canada High School.
The Gladiators started the first half with the ball and struck first when quarterback Jonathan Runnels handed off to Liam Pasten who handed a reverse to Andrew Sibbrell. Sibbrell then zigged his way for a touchdown behind the blocking of offensive linemen Jade Fernandez, Matthew Merrill, Timothy Runnels, Phoenix Vengco, and Ezekiel Rodriguez.
The Gladiator defense put up a strong effort led by the sure tackling of Jade Fernandez, and the backfield pressure of Gunnar Herman. The defensive line of Joseph Padilla, Chase Moulden, Jonathan Gutierrez, and Adrian Garcia made it tough for the Jets all game long. Carter Freeman, Alec Heberger, and “Tiny” Sibbrell gave it all they had at linebacker trying to shut down the Jets run game. The defensive secondary of Isaac Rodriguez, Sergio “Sonny” Rodriguez, and Aaron Matthews held the Jets’ pass game in check all day, highlighted by a Matthews’ interception and return which came up just short of the end zone.
Next Saturday the Gladiators travel to Garfield high school to take on the East L.A. Bulldogs.
La Canada 35, El Monte Jets 0
The La Canada Gladiator Gremlins kicked off their 2015 season with an impressive performance last Saturday at La Canada High School, completely shutting down the El Monte Jets.
Defensive back Corey Cheung set the tone of the game immediately, intercepting the ball during El Monte’s first possession and returning it for a 56-yard touchdown. Cheung would go on to have a huge game, making key tackles, recovering a fumble, and rushing for 74 yards including a second touchdown. Quarterback Jacob Calnon displayed a solid performance on both sides of the ball. Calnon ran for one touchdown, passed and ran for four conversions, and at the defensive end put extreme pressure on the Jets’ offense for the entire game. Running back Moises Guiragossian established himself as a fierce competitor with a rugged second quarter 36-yard touchdown run. Guiragossian rushed for 58 yards on the day and defensively executed aggressive tackles in the backfield.
The Gladiator’s powerful offensive line of Luke Cullen, Hudson Stimmler, Joshua Byer, Jordyn Delgado, Thomas Sorensen, Nevada Miller and Scott Smith paved the way for the offense, helping amass 181 yards in rushing for the Gremlins, and allowing Calnon plenty of time to conduct the team’s air attack. Calnon’s touchdown led La Canada into halftime with a 21 – 0 lead, while their stout and stubborn defense led by Joseph De La Cruz, Shawn Irwin, Miller and Smith – who had a crucial fumble recovery – kept the Jets from completing any first down conversions.
The third quarter saw the Gladiator’s defense continue to hold strong. Along with not allowing El Monte much forward progress, Frank Higginbotham blocked a punt – the Gremlin’s second of the day prompting LC’s fourth touchdown, a 6-yard run by Cheung. Adding to the team’s well-rounded play was Niko Anderson, who rushed for 20 yards, had two tackles, and tipped the ball that led to the initial Gladiator interception.
Fourth quarter highlights included hard stops by Izziah Alzaga-Servin, Miller and Sorensen, and an exciting 58-yard touchdown run by De La Cruz, on a handoff from Smith, putting the Gremlins ahead 35 – 0. Matthew Kurkdjian’s heads-up interception put the final stamp on a dominating Gladiator team performance. Colin Massey, David O’Connor, Harrison Schleossman, Sebastian Pascuzzo and Flynn Millstein are all to be commended for outstanding competitiveness and sportsmanship.
Next Saturday La Canada will travel to Garfield High School to take on the East LA Bulldogs.
La Canada 39 El Monte Jets 0
On Saturday afternoon at La Canada High School the La Canada Gladiator Pee Wee team kicked off the season with a convincing 39-0 route against the El Monte Jets.
The Gladiators took the opening kickoff down the field in a drive that culminated with a twenty yard touchdown run by Andrew Sharman. On the ensuing kickoff Gladiator Patrick Weinmann recovered the football. Thereafter, Daylon Beasley and Pierce Clarkson ran the ball down the field, and Matthew Watson took it in for another Gladiator touchdown from the four yard line that made the score 16-0. The El Monte Jets, on their first possession, turned the ball over on fourth down after a tough tackle by Gladiator Jake Fitzgerald. La Canada took over possession and continued to move the ball down the field as the first quarter came to an end.
At the start of the second quarter El Monte intercepted a Gladiator pass and returned it to their own twenty yard line. The La Canada defense tightened up as Matthew Watson and Chris Marfisi made several convincing tackles. El Monte was forced to punt and Pierce Clarkson returned the punt fifty yards into El Monte’s red zone. Brandon Shepherd caught a twelve yard pass, and shortly thereafter Micah Pasten caught an eight yard touchdown from Sam Faulkner to make the score 24-0 in favor of the Gladiators at the half.
EL Monte took the second half kickoff down the field where they were stopped by Patrick Weinmann and Jake Fitzgerald on fourth down giving the Gladiators the ball back. The Gladiators delivered again when Sam Faulkner threw a forty-three yard touchdown to Daylon Beasley and Micah Pasten kicked his fourth extra point giving La Canada a 32-0 lead.
At the start of the fourth quarter El Monte took the ball down to La Canada’s ten yard line when Matthew Watson stepped up and both caused and recovered a fumble, giving La Canada the ball on their own fifteen yard line. On the very next play, La Canada’s Sebastian Deleon took a hand-off eighty-five yards to score and Jonah Cisneros made the extra point to end the scoring.
The offensive/defensive line of Jonah Cisneros, Luke Waters, Damarcus Caruana, Sebastian Deleon, Jake Fitzgerald, Chris Marfisi, Jake Okland, Brandon Shepherd, Charles Stewart, Matthew Watson and Laelan Wright are to be commended for their great play on both sides of the ball.
The march of the Gladiator Pee Wee team toward a third straight championship is on the road this Saturday, September 19, in a showdown against the East Los Angeles Bulldogs
La Canada Gladiators 47 – El Monte Jets 12
The LC Gladiator Junior Midget team soared passed the El Monte Jets in Saturday’s home and season opener at La Canada High School, 47-12. The Gladiators balanced explosive offense, stifling defense, and opportunistic special teams to ground the Jets before they could ever take off. Zeal Shumate started the action early, slicing down the right side with the opening kick-off for a 70-yard touchdown. The Gladiators led 6-0 just .06 into the game.
The Jets went three and out on their first possession, with Max Herman, Angel Ochoa, Colby Rees, and Bryson Reeves setting the defensive tone with hard-nosed tackling. On the ensuing punt, Chase Center tore through the right edge and blocked the punt. Center caught it in the process and returned it 25 yards for the game’s second special team’s score. The Gladiators converted on a two-point conversion and led 14-0 barely two minutes into the game.
On the Jets next possession, the Gladiator defensive line stood tall. As they did all game, Jack Modrezejewski, Kilian Trulik, Valentin Nunez, Lucas Ponce, Kyle Lewin, Eugene Shin, and Mher Baranian rotated in and out and through the Jet line. On this drive they disrupted running plays and pushed their opponents backwards two consecutive plays. On third and long, they pressured the El Monte quarterback into a quick throw that defensive back Aaron Garcia expertly cut off and intercepted, returning deep into Jets air space.
On the Gladiator’s first offensive possession Max Grant broke free and raced 19 yards for the third Gladiator touchdown. Grant also kicked the extra point, and the Gladiators led 21-0 at the end of the quarter.
The second quarter started just as strongly for the home team. The charging and well-coordinated offensive line, led by Duncan Sprengal, Jacob Zabala, Charles Meyer, and Lucas Simblet, created large holes for the Gladiator ground game. Center, Ochoa, Rees, Grant, and Reeves all galloped through the line and followed great downfield blocking by Ryan Villalobos, Efrem Rivera, Jaydon Sein and Luc Campanella, who fiercely engaged the Jet defensive backfield. The drive ended as the last drive did, with Grant racing 18 yards around left end for another touchdown and a 27-0 lead.
With the 18-point possession rule in effect, the El Monte Jets next displayed heart and fight and scored two consecutive touchdowns to close the first half. The Gladiators led 27-12. Colby Rees then ran a perfect option, pitching to Zeal Shumate ten yards down field. Shumate finished off the play with a touchdown scamper along the right sideline. Grant again booted the extra point through, and the Gladiators had quickly extended their lead to 34-12.
The teams then exchanged fumbles on their next possessions. On the Jets following possession, Jack Modrzewjewski tore through the line for consecutive tackles, the second one forcing another fumble, which Garcia recovered. The third quarter ended with the Gladiators leading 34-12, and the team knocking on the end zone door again.
The Gladiators marched through that door on the first play of the fourth quarter, when Ochoa through a nifty four-yard pass to Center. Max Grant then closed out the scoring with his third long touchdown run, with the final score of 47-12.
Next up for the Gladiator Junior Midgets is a road game against East LA.
Opening week Bye.
Please call (818) 248-1800 if you have any questions.
Kevin Lacey, President